I think it also depends on the corporate mindset of the company you're working for. A German business often has a Personnel department BUT that does not mean to say they will wholly practice HRM - it is usually a legal requirement that a personnel dept or HR person must exist for any business (and for that matter a works council) with more than a certain amount of employees.
So unless you're working for a company in Germany with a head office outside of Germany, chances are things like bi-annual performance management/feedback reviews and formally organized training programmes etc.. may not be offered. German organisations lag behind Anglophone ones, when it comes to training.
Ask where the L&D dept in your company is, and you will probably get blank faces - most of the American-style soft skill training initiatives (e.g. customer service, how to answer the telephone, stress management etc...) are sneered at, and considered silly in Germany. However, especially technical training may be offered.
However, appraisals, feedback and training still takes place in even smaller German companies - usually just less formal than in a coordinated way. If you feel you would like more feedback on your performance, just tell him/her when you next see them (obviously you need to choose a time and place for this) I can guarantee any German line manager worth their salt will welcome any requests for feedback. As somebody mentioned, German line managers tend not to give feedback, so you may need to ask for it - and it may also be an idea to connect this with training.
As for the social aspect of business, this also depends... There is no UK-Style mass exodus to the pub with your workmates when you finish your day.
However, that's not to say it never happens. As a student I once worked in a major German department store, and practically every week somebody would ask if I fancied a beer round the corner - they tend not to be all-nighters though - usually a quick 15-30 min beer before starting your feierabend.
In the past, I have worked for what I would consider a very German company (ahem - Weihnachtsgeld - who gets that nowadays?) and in those types of businesses the social scene was very active (workers flat-shares, football team matches, beer evenings, etc...) However, those types of companies tend to be the ones with very complex hierarchies where employees aren't usually encouraged to take initiative and everything is "by the book" so to speak.
You will probably have heard in the news of yet another tragedy involving another innocent youngster being gunned down (Liverpool)
Gun-crime is on the rise in all European countries at the moment, but isn't it strange that out of all the Anglophone countries (except USA), the news reports of these events always seem to point to suburbs in especially England, and rarely Scotland, Ireland, etc...?
Sure these terrible tragedies happen elswhere too, but it seems to be much more frequent in an English community. What is going on with society at the moment? I left England about 10 years ago, and now I always dread going back there on business trips etc...
I personally feel much safer on the streets visiting relatives in Scotland or friends in Ireland, than I ever have where my parents now live in England. I really don't feel safe walking anywhere there after 8pm, e.g. walking to the nearest underground stop and I never used to feel like this when I lived there.
Maybe I have become Germanised over the years, lucky that I am to be able to quite happily walk through Köln at say 3 am without constantly looking over my shoulder fearing a knife or a bullet etc...
Maybe it's the celtic in me, but sometimes I really do think it's an especially English problem. I guess I am going to provoke some criticism for saying this though...
Especially for those English expats out there - given the way England now is, would you ever consider moving back there? It seems to me England is heading for a meltdown before long...